Subaru is revamping the Forester crossover for the 2017 model year with subtle exterior changes, such as a new grille, headlights and front bumper cover, and additional cabin refinement designed to reduce the road noise that was a common complaint on previous versions.
The Forester was Subaru's top-selling model in the U.S. last year and 2016 deliveries have advanced 2.1 percent through March.
For 2017, the Forester's base 2.5-liter boxer four-cylinder engine ekes out 2 more mpg in city driving, bringing the total to 26. Highway efficiency remains at 32 mpg, but the more efficient city figure raises the combined EPA rating to 28 mpg from 27.
Aside from the slight bump in fuel economy, the naturally aspirated engine remains at 170 hp. The turbocharged 2.0-liter H4 in the Forester XT offers the same 250 hp and fuel efficiency.
Subaru has enhanced the Forester's interior, adding more weatherstripping and thicker glass to alleviate high levels of noise that plagued previous versions. More sound deadening and an acoustic windshield further attempt to quiet the cabin.
On the convenience front, the Forester will offer new-for-2017 intelligent high beams, which work with the EyeSight driver assist system to automatically dim the lights for oncoming traffic. Also, Subaru will include its Starlink infotainment system as standard equipment across the trim levels.
Those trim levels are the same as in previous years, with the Forester available in base, Premium, Limited and Touring models. The hilariously-fun-to-drive 2.0-liter turbocharged engine is available in the Premium and Touring models. The other trim levels get the 2.5-liter naturally aspirated unit.
The updated 2017 Subaru Forester will roll into dealerships in July.